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What Are the Benefits of Rewiring a House?April 14th, 2014 by
Was your home built before 1990? Most older homes were not meant to support today’s modern electrical equipment. With smartphones, home theaters, computers, video games, and security systems, we use so much more power today than we did just a few decades ago. All that extra equipment can overload electrical circuits and lead to shocks or even fires. Those risks go up if you have less than 100-amp service or knob-and-tube wiring. If you still have your original wiring or you live in an older home, here are the main reasons for rewiring your house.
Important Warning: Your electrical service panel contains live wires and presents a high risk for electrocution. Only a licensed electrician should inspect your panel, install circuit breakers, and upgrade your electrical wiring.
What Are the Main Reasons for Rewiring a House?
When you think of rewiring an old house, you probably think of cutting open the walls and replacing the electrical wires. While that is one type of home rewiring, there are several reasons to rewire your house.
1. Upgrade Your Service Capacity
The number one reason for rewiring an old house is to upgrade the service capacity. The electrical systems in most older homes were not built to handle the demands of today’s technology. While homes built in the 1990s have a 100-amp panel, homes from the 1960s and 70s likely only have 60-amp service. However, 200-amp service is standard today.
Homes with low amp service are more likely to trip circuit breakers or under-power equipment. Underpowering electrical devices will wear them out faster or cause them not to work properly. Although rare, issues with low service capacity can cause electrical fires.
If your home has 100-amp service or less, consider upgrading to at least 150-amp, if not 200-amp, service depending on your needs. Talk with a certified electrician about what is best for your energy consumption and budget. Upgrading your service capacity usually takes just one day.
2. Upgrade Your Electrical Service Panel
Another common upgrade is replacing your electrical panel. Often called a fuse box or a breaker box, it routes power to different areas in your home. However, every panel has a finite number of circuits.
If you need more circuits, the option is to add a junction box or replace the panel. This uses your existing wiring but makes it easier to expand your power needs.
Consider upgrading your service panel if it still has fuses or if you do not have enough circuits to adequately power your home. While most panels will last decades, they can wear out. Call a qualified electrician if circuit breakers trip frequently, you hear buzzing or zapping sounds, or you smell smoke.
3. Replace Outdated Wiring
The risk of faulty wiring goes up the older your home is. There is a risk of electrical failures with knob-and-tube wiring from 1940s and 50s, but even wire from the 60s and 70s can be dangerous if you use a lot of power.
Modern wiring includes a ground wire that prevents electrical shocks that can damage any electric device. Electrical rewiring guarantees you are safe and ensures you meet current electrical and building codes.
If your home was built before 1990 and you have never had your wiring system inspected, call a professional electrician to make sure your home is safe. They can inspect your electrical outlets and wiring and recommend necessary upgrades.
Rewiring projects usually take a few days depending on the square footage of your home and the number of outlets.
4. Replace or Add Electrical Outlets
Another common type of rewiring is to replace or install additional outlets. You probably wish you had more outlets unless your home was built in the last ten years. If your home was built before the 1990s, you probably use a lot of extension cords and power strips.
One of the biggest reasons to replace outlets in an older home is to install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Usually installed in kitchens and bathrooms, these outlets protect you from electrocution.
Other reasons for upgrades include adding three-prong outlets or installing a ground. Electricians can also install new outlets in old or historic homes more comfortable. Plus, they can usually replace or install an outlet in just a few hours.
Warning Signs You Need To Rewire Your Entire House
Faulty electrical wiring can damage your electronics or even lead to house fires. Call an electrician if you have any of the following:
- Circuit breakers trip frequently
- Lights dim or flicker, especially when you plug something in
- Outlets or switches smoke or spark
- You hear buzzing or zapping
- You rely on extension cords or power strips in every room
If you are ready to rewire your house, find a qualified electrician near you now. They can discuss your needs and provide a free quote for the rewiring process. The average cost of a house rewrite depends on the size of your home and how many outlets and switches you need.